Sunday, June 29, 2008

Job Opportunity as Operations Coordinator

Urban Seed is looking for an Operations Coordinator. Position description can be downloaded here.

Horse riding

On Friday we took a van-load of Credo punters up to Plenty to go horse riding at Uncle Nev's.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

'Methadone treatment "too expensive" for most addicts'

A new report has found the cost of methadone programs is too high for most heroin addicts.
The Federal Government funds methadone treatment, but most pharmacies charge a $60 dispensing fee.
The RMIT University study found the fee was a barrier for many heroin users wanting to kick the habit.
Report author Dr James Rowe says the Government subsidises dispensing fees for most other medications.
The full article is at ABC News, here.
(Props to Tim.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More stars

Been doing more experiments with the star maps:

So far the last one is the only one I like a lot.

Ball's Popular Guide to the Heavens

On Monday afternoon I went into this little secondhand bookshop near Mehrin's work, and got a fairly old astronomy book for $12.50. It's called Ball's Popular Guide to the Heavens, and it was first published in 1892 - but I've got the 1952 edition:

I got it because it has really nice old star maps in it, and I want to use them in some art. This is what I've done this afternoon:

I really like using old scientific diagrams (like what I used for Dead Man Rising last year). I think it's because we often seem to think that we understand everything about how the world works, and looking at how we used to try to explain everything is a bit humbling, and allows me to experience more awe at God's creation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mision Exposure at Urban Seed (September 2008)

We are having a week in September at Urban Seed where people can come and stay with us to learn a bit about what we're doing, and try and work out what it means to 'love your neighbour' in their own areas. There is more info here:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sacred Space at SYG

So I stayed up all night on Thursday working on Sacred Space for State Youth Games. A lot of it was writing reflections and stuff.

At about 1pm Phil and Leanne from The Cave came and picked me up. This is how packed their car was with all our stuff:

It might have been about 4pm or something when we got to Lardner Park (near Warragul) where SYG is held. Age (from morepraxis) got there not long after us. These are some pictures I took while we were setting up:

I stayed up until about midnight on the Friday setting up. (So I was awake from 7am Thursday till 1am Saturday!)
This is a beetle I found on the outside of my tent when I got up at about midday on Saturday:

This is where we had our tents:

I spent most of Saturday afternoon finishing off the art installation.

This is Phil and Age being hippies:

These are some youths being youthful:

This is part of Phil's garden cross:

This is my computer, gradually disintegrating:

My art installation was about two parables, the parable of the sower (Mark 4) and the parable of the vine in Babylon (Ezekiel 17).

I had four piles of different soil (to represent the four places where the sower plants his seeds), which I'd planted vegetables in. (Celery, broccoli, onions, leeks and lettuce.)

This is what I had written for the soil reflections:

In the fourth chapter of Mark's Gospel, Jesus tell his followers about a farmer trying to plant seeds in strange places, where they are extremely unlikely to grow. He tells his closest friends that the seeds are like God's word.

It seems there are a lot of things about the world we live in that make it difficult for God's word to grow in our lives...
'Some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. When they hear the word, Satan immediately comes and and takes away the word that is sown in them.'
(verses 4 + 15)

Fill your hand with gravel for a moment. Can you think of many plants that would survive trying to grow on a gravel path? Why would a farmer plant seeds in such a place?
Do you know anyone whose doing it really tough, struggling to grow in a hostile environment - maybe getting eaten up a bit? Take some time to pray for them. If you like you can write down their name and plant it in the gravel, as a symbol of your prayer.
'Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no roots, they withered away.
When they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while. When trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.'
(verses 5, 6, 16 + 17)

Take a handfull of this rocky soil for a moment.
Do you know anyone who doesn't have much strong roots? Perhaps someone who's having a hard time finding stability or security? Take a rock, and carry it in you pocket as a reminder to pray for that person. If you like you can write down their name and plant it in the rocky soil, as a symbol of your prayer.
'Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them, and they didn't produce any food. These are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the lures of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it produces nothing.'
(verses 7, 18 + 19)

Touch the spikes of the thorns, and feel their sharpness.
Do you know anyone whose spiritual journey is being choked? Perhaps by economic, social or family pressures? Perhaps by something else? Take a moment to pray for them. If you like you can write down their name and plant it in the rocky soil, as a symbol of your prayer.
'Other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. They hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.'
(verses 8 + 20)

Take a handfull of the good soil for a moment.
Even though the farmer has to plant seeds in bad places, it seems there are still some places where crops can grow really well, and produce ridiculous amounts of food. It sounds like it might actually make enough money to buy a decent field, so the farmer won't have to plant seeds on the footpath, or in rocks or thorns ever again.
Can you think of something good that is growing in your life at the moment? Take some time to thank God for that growth. You might like to write it down, and plant it in the good soil, as a symbol of your prayer.
Behind the four soils I also had a city built out of boxes, and covered with some photos by Zoriah (Age owns the royalties to the images) as well as some of my own city-themed photos. I had the vine that I built growing up one of the skyscrapers:

Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures of the vine when it was finished.
Here is the reflection for the vine:
What will this plant need if it is to grow up tall and strong? What will it need in order to produce fruit? What will it need just to survive? What kind of an environment is it growing in? Will it be able to get what it needs in this kind of environment?
What to you need to survive? What do you need to live a whole life? What do you depend on to provide what you need? Babylon? Egypt? The globalised economy? Krispy Kreme? Boost Juice? Facebook? Family? Friends? God? Can you depend on these things to sustain you in your environment?
We also did some Bible studies and had communion at Sacred Space. On Saturday night Age led a Bible study on the parable of the sower, looking at the economics in it. On Sunday night I led us in communion, and later on I led a Bible study on Paul's letter to Philemon, and how Paul messes around with power structures in his letter.
This is a picture of part of the campsite, which Mehrin took on Sunday night, from where we were camping:

I used a simplified version of the soils installation for staff prayers yesterday evening:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sacred Space at SYG (work in progress)

The last few weeks I've been working on stuff for the Sacred Space at State Youth Games. Phil from The Cave and Age from morepraxis are working on stuff for it too. The theme for SYG this year is 'sustain', and I've been thinking about two parables, from Mark 4 and Ezekiel 17.
These are some pictures of what I've been doing:

(Thanks to Marcus for the barbed wire, and to Mehrin for helping me get stuff from Bunnings yesterday.)